Welcome back! Here’s an overview of events and resources for York students

students wave red towels at a gathering at the 2015 York U orientation welcome event

Classes begin Sept. 4, and with the official start of the fall term at York University there’s plenty for new and returning students to do, think about and remember.

A new Back-to-School website gathers all kinds of important information into one convenient location and can be customized to students’ current year of study. There are guides for new and returning students for wayfinding, key dates, computing at York University, resources available in the University Libraries and Bookstore, and more. Here’s an overview of what students need to know.

New student orientation events

York Orientation 2018 at the York Lions Stadium
York Orientation 2018 at the York Lions Stadium

York University’s Orientation Week runs from Aug. 31 to Sept. 8. One of the most highly anticipated events of the week is York Orientation Day – a full day of activities on Sept. 3 to connect new students with their peers and program faculty. Incoming students with the help of their orientation leaders explore the Keele Campus, learn about resources and connect with others in their programs. York Orientation Day culminates with the official Welcome Ceremony in the York Lions Stadium on the Keele Campus.

The Glendon Campus hosts its Orientation Day also on Sept. 3. At the Glendon event, new students meet their Lion’s Den Peer Mentors, who will be their guides to their first year of studies, and learn the ins and outs of their programs from their professors. At the end of the day, they head north to the Keele Campus to join the Welcome Ceremony in the stadium.

The University’s colleges also organize a host of fun and informative orientation activities for first-year students, including academic workshops and social events. Visit the colleges website for more details.

International student orientation

An important part of the orientation events are the three international student orientation sessions organized by York International (YI). As the designated support office for international students, YI offers crucial services and programs tailored to address the unique needs of international students. The orientation events give international students an opportunity to meet their international student peers, learn essential information about immigration issues, health insurance, working in Canada and more.

ASK Me and York International pop-up locations

Find an ASK Me ambassador for assistance around campus during the first few weeks of classes!
Find an ASK Me ambassador for assistance around campus during the first few weeks of classes

The ASK Me program returns this fall and features booths around the Keele Campus that are run by the ASK Me ambassador team. The booths are a way for students to receive on-the-spot guidance, directions and answers to their general questions about financial aid, registrarial services, course enrolment and more. YI will also have booths staffed with welcoming and helpful experts who can assist international students with their needs and offer guidance.

Peer support for finance, health and more

The 2018-2019 Financial Aid Peers
The 2018-2019 Financial Aid Peers

During the back-to-school rush, financial support peers  provide front-line, peer-to-peer financial advice to all students at the Welcome Desk of the Bennett Centre and at several remote locations around the Keele Campus. The team offers a resource for triaging accurate and effective referrals with the Office of the University Registrar while also sharing general advice and best practices to obtain financial aid support at York University. As an added benefit, the financial support peers offer workshops throughout the term on topics such as OSAP, personal budgeting and other topics that foster student knowledge.

The Career Centre has a peer support system in place through the Career Peer Educator program, where students can help their colleagues develop the skills and mindset to navigate their career journey as well as support their career-related inquiries. The peer mentors help fellow students with resumé and cover letter writing, employment searches, networking, interview preparation and LinkedIn. They help students understand the many resources available in the York University Career Centre and offer guidance on how to navigate Experience York, the Career Centre’s new and improved full-service career and experiential learning portal, which offers students access to on- and off-campus employment opportunities as well as information about co-ops and other positions.

Peer health educators are students trained in a variety of important health and wellness topics, including alcohol and drugs, mental health, nutrition, sexual health and the importance of sleep. Starting Sept. 9, the peer health educators will be available in the Wellness Hub. Students can drop by and receive information and assistance in finding health resources both on and off campus. The peer health team also disseminates health information to students through both interactive and passive programming and on social media channels.

Online services

It’s never been easier for students to get their papers in order ahead of the new term with My Online Services. The website offers many self-serve options, including where students can get what they need, when they need it, wherever they are and at almost any time of the day.  Among the many self-serve tools provided, students can access enrolment and RESP letters, update their contact information, view their student account statements and order transcripts.

York University’s RED Zone

The RED Zone will be officially re-opening on August 26 after being closed all summer!
The RED Zone reopens Aug. 26 after being closed for the summer

York’s RED Zone is a resource for new and returning students, faculty and staff. RED Zone ambassadors are stationed in Vari Hall and are available from Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., to give directions and offer assistance to those looking for places, people and services on campus. The RED Zone will be officially re-opening on Aug. 26 after being closed all summer. Extended RED Zone hours will be in effect from Sept. 4 to 14 and will be posted on the website.

A variety of student support services

Student Counselling & Development (SCD) began its series of SCD workshops last fall and will continue this year. These workshops are free and open to all York University students and registration is not required. Each workshop takes place in a professional and supportive environment, where students receive guidance as they navigate through personal student development. If students attend five SCD workshops, they can receive a Personal Development Certificate.

York University’s Career Centre helps students forge their career paths in their chosen fields. The Career Centre provides several weekly workshops and webinars covering topics from resumé and cover letter writing to interview preparation and networking events connecting current students with employers, educators and alumni from various fields of study.

Visiting Learning Skills Services (LSS) and attending LSS workshops are great ways to get back into the school mindset. Most of the workshops are led by Learning Skills peers, and programming offered at LSS helps prepare students for the academic year ahead. LSS provides a space to learn important skills, including time management, presentation skills, reading and note-taking. LSS strongly recommends that incoming students attend their Starting Off Strong and Secrets of Academic Success workshops to start their year off right.

Learn more on York University’s Back-to-School website.